Trees are inextricably entwined with life, producing oxygen, fruit, storing carbon, giving shelter, providing timber and bringing beauty into our world. I hope that these images will cause the viewer to look again at trees of the field, as they reach heavenward as if in worship.
A series of oil paintings by Ron Wilson
You will live in joy and peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song, and the trees of the field will clap their hands! (Isaiah 55:12). This metaphor of nature rejoicing is the inspiration for this series of images. The 24 representational oil paintings are supported by 15 small watercolour sketches.
I have always loved trees since boyhood – walking to school in a leafy Melbourne suburb, down two avenues, one lined with oaks and the other with flowering gums. At primary school, above the blackboard, hung a reproduction of the first painting I ever really noticed and have never forgotten. Every day I looked at the white gums of Australia’s heart, painted by Albert Namatjira, against a blue sky and folded hills. I wanted to paint.
My teenage years were spent in the Mallee, the land of little trees. I was fascinated by these hardy trees with their large roots and the birds they attracted. A houseboat trip on the Murray River was a love affair with the gnarled river red gums. When visiting Alice Springs in the red centre, I was struck by the gums growing in dry river beds and the survivors in the desert itself. Now, I often walk the Soldier’s walk on the Queen’s Domain where 520 trees are planted in remembrance of young Tasmanians who lost their lives in Europe in World War 1. While their bodies are interred in faraway places, evergreen trees, cypresses and cedars, from the northern hemisphere have been planted here in an otherwise Australian landscape.
In my front yard is a sixty-year-old red-flowering eucalyptus tree. When it flowers it is a blaze of orange-red, it is buzzing with bees and attracts parakeets and other birds. This is my ‘thank you’ tree; when I look at it I am filled with gratitude.
It is my hope that this exhibition will cause people to appreciate afresh the role trees play. Trees are inextricably entwined with life. They produce oxygen, fruit, use carbon dioxide, give shelter, provide timber and bring beauty into our world. I hope that these images will cause people to look again at trees, as they reach upwards and outwards as if in praise to their Creator.
PLEASE NOTE our lift is currently undergoing maintenance and repairs. Wheelchair access to levels 2 and 3 of the arts centre is currently unavailable.